Milton Hershey School Kicks Off Day 1 of the 2022-23 School Year
This story originally appeared on MHSkids.org.
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On Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, the Milton Hershey School community gathered in GIANT Center to celebrate the start of the 2022-23 school year with an Opening of School Assembly. The assembly, which focused on the journey from day 1 to day won, included speeches, musical performances, video presentations, and the announcement of the 2022 MHS Alumna of the Year.
President Pete Gurt ’85 welcomed students, staff, and community members to the assembly. He shared the simple ways that everyone in the MHS community can focus on their day 1 and make small changes throughout the school year to ultimately achieve success.
Success is achieved through a few simple daily habits practiced consistently. Good habits don’t come as easily as bad habits, but we are Spartans—we choose to do what is right, not what is easy. Successful people don’t get bored with the basics, they choose to perfect them.
Two students got a very special surprise when their mother joined the assembly in a video message. Member of the Pennsylvania National Guard, Masallah Sema, is currently serving overseas and was joined by her unit to lead the school in saying the pledge of allegiance, after wishing her four children and the entire MHS community a happy start to the school year.
The assembly—which has not been in person since 2019—included more than 150 students, staff, and alumni participants. From celebrating personal bests to sharing stories of overcoming adversity, students, staff, and community members were reminded of the Sacred Values that have guided the school since its founding in 1909—our collective Day 1.
Before the assembly concluded, there was a special presentation announcing Jocelyn Bioh ’01 as the 2022 MHS Alumna of the Year. Bioh—the youngest and first Black woman to earn this distinction—shared a special message to motivate her MHS family.
It is a great honor for me to be the youngest woman and the first ever Black woman to receive this award. I remember my day 1 at MHS—it was August 1995 and I was a little scared because I’d never lived away from home. But it was also very exciting. I made some incredible friends that are still some of my closest friends today. For me, the MHS journey was filled with lots of highs, a few lows, and a lifetime full of memories.
To close out another unforgettable kick-off to a great school year, Gurt charged the audience to take everything they heard and to apply it to their own lives—one small step at a time.
Successful people do daily what others do occasionally. They start where they are; they use what they have; and they do what they can every day. Today is our Day 1.